Tax relief urged for small- and middle-income earners

Apr. 13, 2013

Press Release
11 April 2013

As income tax season closes, ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio repeated the demand for income tax relief for workers and employees in the public and private sectors.

“Everytime small and middle-income earners file their tax returns, every pay slip they get, they see that much of what they earn goes to the government, leaving barely enough for their needs,” said Tinio.  “For some, they wonder why they give away a third of their salaries when they can barely make ends meet for themselves and their families,” he added.

Tinio explained that government has been slow to respond to the needs of income taxpayers by increasing the amounts of annual personal and basic exemptions in time with the rise in cost of living and with salary and wage increases.  These exemptions will result to higher take-home pay.

In 2008, when the exemptions were last adjusted, a government employee earning the minimum PHP 6,149 could take home a non-taxable salary of at least 68 percent of his or her earnings because of the PHP 50,000 basic personal exemption (BPE).  One in the middle level (earning around PHP 12,748) is assured of at least 33 percent, while the minimum wage earner in the private sector is assured of 42 percent.

Today, the non-taxable earnings have deflated.  The BPE stands at 46 percent of the minimum salary in government (PHP 9,000 monthly), 22 percent of those in the middle level (PHP 18,549), and 35 percent of that of a minimum wage earner.

Tinio urged the passage of House Bill 6723, which he filed on November 2012 that proposes to increase the BPE to PHP 75,000 and additional exemptions to PHP 40,000 per dependent.  The proposed BPE will restore the non-taxable earnings to 2008 levels.  He also filed in December 2011 another proposed law for tax relief — HB 5661 aims to increase the amount of tax exempt bonuses and incentives from PHP 30,000 to PHP 60,000.

ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

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